How would Microsoft change Yahoo?

Stacey Vanek Smith Feb 1, 2008
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The Yahoo! homepage when it was redesigned in May 2006. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

How would Microsoft change Yahoo?

Stacey Vanek Smith Feb 1, 2008
The Yahoo! homepage when it was redesigned in May 2006. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

STACEY VANEK-SMITH: So, Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo so that it can get you to stop using Google. But Google owns almost 60 percent of the online search market. And with good reason, says Tara Calishain, editor of Research Buzz. She says back in 1998 Google set the standard with a powerful engine and a sleek design.

Tara Calishain: They had a search box and a couple of buttons and that was it.

Calishain says people also love Google because it’s creative and dynamic. She says if the Microsoft-Yahoo duo really wants to unseat Google, it will need to get innovative. But she says profit-focused Microsoft may not be able to get out of Yahoo’s way.

Yahoo is doing so many innovative things right now, and I’m afraid if there is a Microsoft-Yahoo combination, all that stuff’s going to be put to the wayside and they’re just going to try to assimilate the biggest search-engine index possible.

But in this case, bigger could be better, says Tim Bajarin with Creative Strategies. He says Google’s search engine is the best right now, but there’s room for improvement as people search for more photos, sound and videos. And, he says, Microsoft’s money and Yahoo’s experience would make it a fierce competitor.

Tim Bajarin: Ultimately, what the consumer wants is more precision in the search. They could combine their research labs to try to advance search.

Bajarin says ulta-accurate searches would also be advertising gold, because ads could be better tailored to a searcher’s needs.

I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

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